Customer Support Ruling

Customer Markings

UPDATED January 2017

PS-317 (243.2)

In this Customer Support Ruling, a question is raised as to whether certain information is considered “personal” information for the purpose of classifying mail.

A credit card solicitation came into question when it was noted that the outside envelope contained the words “Personal – Do Not Throw Away.”

The issue raised was whether such a statement is considered “personal information.”  Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) 243.2.1 provides that mailable matter that is neither mailed nor required to be mailed as First-Class Mail or Periodicals may be eligible for USPS Marketing Mail prices.  DMM 233.2.3 prescribes that matter containing personal information must be mailed as First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, or Priority Mail Express.  Personal information is any information specific to the addressee.

A review of the mailing disclosed that the statement is preprinted on all outgoing envelopes used for this specific credit card promotion.  Such phrases as “Personal – Do Not Throw Away” or “Important – Open Immediately” appearing on the mailing envelopes are not themselves personal information.

In this instance, there was no personal information in the mailpiece, and, the mailing was determined to be eligible to be sent at USPS Marketing Mail prices.


Sherry Suggs
Mailing Standards
Headquarters, US Postal Service
Washington, DC  20260-3436